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What to do in Pittsburgh this weekend: June 16-18

A photograph of a man sitting on a bench in a park while reading under trees.
Brian Cohen
Brian Cohen's show of photos of Frick Park opens Thu., June 15, at Unsmoke Systems.

Looking for something to do in Pittsburgh? This weekend you could check out the city's many Juneteenth celebrations, or sift through dozens of photos of Frick Park as part of a "Refugium" exhibit.

Inside Out

The Pittsburgh Playhouse opens its summer series, Inside Outside, with weekly performances Thursdays and Fridays at its Highmark Theatre and Forbes Avenue plaza. It launches at 4:30 p.m. Thu., June 15, with classical and jazz piano by Ray Angry, who’s played with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to The Roots; a contemporary-dance concert follows on Friday. Inside Outside continues into July. Bonus: Your ticket includes your first drink.


Early in the pandemic, acclaimed Pittsburgh-based photographer Brian Cohen turned to Frick Park as a “refugium” – “an area in which a population of organisms can survive through a period of unfavorable conditions.” Some 70 of his photos of the park constitute “Refugium,” a new solo exhibit at Braddock’s UnSmoke Systems Artspace. The opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Thu., June 15.

Fly to Neverland

Acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl’s “For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday” comes to Little Lake Theatre Co. A woman whose fondest childhood memories include playing Peter Pan onstage joins her four siblings at their father’s deathbed; a retrofitted trip to Neverland follows. The show opens Thu., June 15, and runs through June 25 at the venerable Canonsburg theater.

Celebrate Juneteenth

At press time, and amidst some controversy, organizers of the big Western Pennsylvania Juneteenth celebration were still in talks with state parks officials over exactly how the festival would proceed. The four-day celebration was planned to start in Point State Park on Fri., June 16, with music headliners like Arrested Development and The Ohio Players. But check the event’s Facebook page for updates.

Swifties comes to shake it off

Reliable sources say all those folks filling Acrisure Stadium the evening of Fri., June 16, and Saturday, too, will be there for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. So if you’re trying to get a hotel room around here, for any reason, you’re probably out of luck. You might also want to think twice about driving nearby – unless you’ve got a ticket, in which case, enjoy!

"Uncle Vanya"

Throughline Theatre Company stages the classic “Uncle Vanya,” as rendered in a contemporary translation by Pulitzer-winning playwright Annie Baker. The company brings Chekhov’s heartsick and desperate ensemble to life at Carnegie Stages from Mon., June 19, through July 1.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: